Monday, November 5, 2007

The New Kids On the Block Bring Soulful Reggae To Keep You Movin'

Green Room Rockers “Hoosier Homegrown”
2007 (downtown records)

What happens when Otis Redding meets The Upsetters uptown in Indiana? The Green Room Rockers happen. One of the newest bands to play a very soulful style of reggae such as Deals Gone Bad, the Aggrolites, and Westbound Train. I actually heard about this group last time Deals Gone Bad played Balitmore, because they had mentioned taking these guys under their wing. And the from the quality of this album the Green Room Rockers have made quite a statement with this their debut album.

“Endure’ opens up the albums with a straight Motown drum beat with Mike telling everyone who they are which transitions into the actual song. “Endure” also has a sweet hornline thanks to El Ron (sax) and Chris aka Rusty (trombone). “Cold Hearted Woman” has some wicked organ and cowbell action. Rudy G’s organ playing emulates the greats like Mittoo, Billy Preston, Glen Adams, etc. “Venus Man Trap” opens with a killer sax and has a sort of sing songy/sing alongy type of vibe throughout. I think this song would be perfect with some hand clapping as well. Its really catchy song as are most of the ones on the album and most of the songs take up those universal topics such as women, drinking/partying, and surviving day to day. My favorite track on this album (and the one I used on one of my podcasts) is “Northbound Train.” Jamaica is filled with songs about trains and there is a certain fantasy element about taking a train and seeing where it goes.

The Green Room Rockers bust out more heavy soul sounds and foot stomping reggae on the title track “Hoosier Homegrown” in the vein of the Hippy Boys and the Mohawks. “Humor Me” brings a more reggae sounding tune to the forefront this song and this album at times reminds me of a time when there were a lot of quality recordings coming from Moon Records during the mid to late 90’s. “Divided” is an acoustic tune and I think it shows a good choice for a young band to try to mix it up so much on their album. The rhythm section of the GRR is rough and tough and this is exemplified on the latter part of the album during “Fight For Your Love.” “Everyday” is a fast pace ska tune that will keep you out on the dancefloor for a long, long time. “Untitled” is a cool grooving latin flavored instrumental with heavy percussion. The album ends with “Pieces” a happy-go-lucky soul-ska tune. GRR is a new band to keep your eyes on and your ears out. Check this album out and also if they are coming to a town near you go see them!!!

For more info about the band/album go here...

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